If You Support LGBT+ Rights, Don’t Donate to The Salvation Army

It is the holidays, a time when we are encouraged to spread compassion and generosity among others in our community. Christmas shopping is often a stressful experience for customers, so when greeted at the store entrance by a Salvation Army bell ringer it seems like a quick and convenient way to do one’s share of giving for the holiday season. This  organization has impacted several lives, but it is important to remember its foundation is a fundamental Christian church that is religiously motivated. Now noting a charity may have different religious beliefs then oneself shouldn’t prevent one from donating, especially since every individual in a religious community is bound by their own personal and moral beliefs. That being said, The Salvation Army has a history of fighting against LGBT rights and actively discriminating against the community. If you are someone who supports the LGBT community, you should not be donating your money to an active oppressor.

Personal beliefs that condemn members of the community one is trying to help should be put aside when the focus is on providing them with hope and support. No one should be rejected service because one does not agree with their harmless way of life. The Salvation Army’s website states their goal is to be a “transforming influence in the communities of our world.” Their mission involves delivering God’s message, which unfortunately from their perspective includes condemning homosexuality. The organization’s position statement on LGBT+ people is as follows:

“Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.”

The Salvation Army claims to be a non-discriminatory group, but a long list of acts of anti-gay bigotry prove otherwise. Here are some notable events in history where The Salvation Army fought against the LGBT+ community:

The Salvation Army has recently attempted to revise their image by adding a “no discrimination” campaign to their website. That being said, they fail to address the discrimination embedded within their core beliefs and the past attempts to oppress the LGBT+ community they now claim to be assisting. There are so many wonderful charities out there, without prejudice, that provide for those in need. It might mean having to take a few more minutes to send in money online rather than drop your spare change at a mall entrance, but why actively support an oppressor when there are so many charities (religious and not) that are focused on improving lives rather than political beliefs and anti-gay values.

A few non-discriminatory charities I recommend donating to this holiday season: The Red Cross, Caring Voice Coalition, The Trevor Project, Toys for Tots, Northwest Harvest

Also check out any local food banks or volunteer projects within your community. Charity Navigator is a great website for researching more information about charities and ensuring your money is going  where you want.

 

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Mikayla Bruendl
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Mikayla Bruendl is a 17 year old in Canada. Aspiring psychiatric nurse and journalist. Actively promoting intersectional feminism, the celebration of cultural diversity, ending stigma against mental illness, and LGBTQ+ and PoC representation in media. For inquiries, requests, and discussion, contact @mikaylabruendl on Instagram or Twitter.

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